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National Farm Medicine Center Focusing on Farm Safety

Born about 100 years ago in rural Wisconsin to serve rural residents with 40 or so satellite locations, and going national in the early 80’s, Scott Hyberger, Communications Specialist, Farm Medicine Center explains what the program does for farmers and their families to Southern Farm Network’s Bob Midles:

“Part of the National Farm Medicine Center is the National Childrens Center for Rural and AG health and safety. The Children’s center has been designated by Congress to lead efforts on child ag injury prevention and child safety across the country.

We have a lot of programs to educate parents about childrens farm safety. In the 15 or so years of the Childrens Center, we have come up with a lot of guidelines from working with parents. We have a lot of information to empower parents to decide what jobs are appropriate for their kids and to know when a child is just too young to be on the site. We have a program called Cultivate Safety  that is filled with materials and information. Parents can look at the size and weight of the child as well as developmental abilities to determine which jobs are appropriate.

We are still seeing too many needless incidents and injuries regarding kids on the worksite. It’s a tradition for them to be on the site with their parents, but many injuries are preventable and they dramatically affect families.

One thing we did track was the number of rollbars on tractors and found that in just Wisconsin, half of the tractors don’t have them. This past year we started a rebate program where farmers can find a retrofit for them and we will reimburse them for part of the cost of installing these rollbars onto their tractors. This is an example of data driving what we do.”

Scott Hyberger with the Farm Medicine Center'

A native of the Texas Panhandle, Rhonda was born and raised on a cotton farm where she saw cotton farming evolve from ditch irrigation to center pivot irrigation and harvest trailers to modules. After graduating from Texas Tech University, she got her start in radio with KGNC News Talk 710 in Amarillo, Texas.